Developing for SharePoint 2010 on a 32bit host

One of the barriers for developers considering moving from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 is that you will need to have a 64bit server to run SharePoint 2010. Under the usual model of each developer running a local copy of SharePoint either under Windows 7 or within a VM this will mean you will require a 64bit laptop or desktop. For many organisations and individuals it will not be immediately possible to fork out to purchase new hardware.
Virtualisation of the development environment has been used a great deal in the SharePoint 2007 development but when it comes to 2010 development there are limited options for running a 64bit VM on a 32bit host. After doing some research it seams that Microsoft VPC and Virtual Server don’t support this architecture nor does the Sun offering of the free VMWare offering. At the moment the best option seems to be VMWare Workstation version 7 which on some 32bit hardware will support a 64bit VM on a 32bit host. There is a utility that you can run to verify if your hardware does support this architecture:
http://downloads.vmware.com/d/details/processor_check_5_5_dt/dCpiQGhkYmRAZQ==
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/processor_check.pdf
 

For US$189 for VMWare Workstation v7 (http://www.vmware.com/vmwarestore/) its a lot cheaper than buying a new laptop or desktop if your current one supports 64bit quests.

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